Publication: Daily Sun
Date: October 26, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan ranks as the world’s second-worst country in terms of gender equality and equitable division of resources and opportunities among men and women, says a report published Friday.
The Global Gender Gap Report 2013, published by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with faculty at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley, assesses 136 countries, representing more than 93 per cent of the world’s population, on how well resources and opportunities are divided among male and female populations. According to the index, Iceland tops the list with the most equitable sharing of resources among the sexes, followed closely by north European countries such as Finland, Norway and Sweden.
Pakistan comes down at 135, followed only by Yemen, and its score has fallen three spots since the study was conducted last year. The comprehensive annual report measures the size of the gender inequality gap in four areas, including economic participation and opportunity (salaries, participation and highly skilled employment), educational attainment (access to basic and higher levels of education), political empowerment (representation in decision-making structures), health and survival (life expectancy and sex ratio).
According to the index, Pakistan ranks second-worst in economic participation and opportunity, eighth-worst in terms of equal access to education, 13th from the bottom in terms of health and survival.
Surprisingly, the magnitude of disparities is much smaller in Pakistan when it comes to political empowerment and representation in decision-making structures among the two sexes, with a rank of 64 among 136 countries.
Among neighbouring countries, China ranked at 69, Bangladesh at 75, India at 101 and Iran at 130. Afghanistan was not included in the study. According to the report, gender disparity narrowed slightly in the current year on the back of definite if not universal improvements in economic equality and political participation between the sexes-